A map of DelawareTogether with parts of Maryland and Virginia, Delaware occupies the Delmarva peninsula: the eastern part, facing the Delaware River, which widens into Delaware Bay. The second smallest state, it measures just 154 kilometres (96 miles) long and between 14 and 56 kilometres (9–35 miles) across. The land is low lying, with marshland and sand dunes in the south and rolling hills (part of the Piedmont Plateau) along the border with Pennsylvania in the north. It has an average elevation of 18 metres (60 feet), the lowest of any state.
The state takes its name from the Delaware River and Bay, which were themselves named after Thomas West, Baron De La Warr. He was an English nobleman and the colonial governor of Virginia at the time when Europeans first explored the river in the early 17th century. The surname de La Warr is of Norman origin and probably came from the region of Normandy called La Guerre.
Delaware is the second smallest, and the sixth least populous, of the 50 states. It is divided into just three counties, the lowest number of counties of any state.
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